LTC groups asks president, new Congress to tackle Medicaid, Medicare reform

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Mark Parkinson
Mark Parkinson

Within hours of President Barack Obama winning a second term, major long-term care association groups were asking him and Congress to reform Medicare and Medicaid policy.

“While we know that the president and our newly elected Congress must find ways to reduce federal spending and fund a wide variety of programs, now is the time to take a hard look at meaningful reforms to solve the issues that face both the Medicare and Medicaid programs,” American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living President and CEO Mark Parkinson said in a statement. “Stable Medicare and Medicaid funding will help ensure America's seniors continue to have access to high quality long term and post-acute care.”

Obama's win is largely seen as a victory for the 2010 Affordable Care Act, although rival Republicans still have viable weapons to slow implementation of certain aspects of it. Several states are expected to revisit whether they will accept federal money for the bill's Medicaid expansion.

LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix, who had come under fire for saying an Obama victory would be better financially for long-term care, congratulated the president and outlined the association's priorities.

"Specifically, our post-election goals are to improve the quality of life for seniors and younger people with disabilities, to improve the health of every community where our members serve, and to reduce the costs of healthcare for all Americans," he said.

LeadingAge will focus on five priorities, he said: "quality that people can trust; innovative solutions; stewardship of resources; advocacy for vulnerable populations; and support for employees, volunteers, and family caregivers.”

With control of the Senate remaining in Democrat hands and the House still under Republican leadership, analysts are unsure what compromises or policy changes might ultimately be passed by Congress.

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